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The Chameleon's Shadow
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About the Author

Minette Walters is the author of twelve previous novels, two novellas, and a number of short stories. Her work, which has been published in more than thirty-five countries, has received several major awards, including two Gold Daggers from the Crime Writers' Association in Great Britain and the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Dorset, England.

Reviews

One look at Lt. Charles Acland's disfigured face and anyone can see that the Iraqi bomb that blew up two of his men has left him profoundly changed-but have his traumatic brain injuries altered the young British army officer's personality enough to make him a murderer? That's the narrative fuse Edgar-winner Walters (The Devil's Feather) lights to ignite this sizzling psychological thriller. She skillfully interweaves strands of Acland's story, including notes from the military psychiatrist treating him, with the hunt for a serial killer who's claimed at least three victims in South London. Then another man is beaten within an inch of his life not long after Acland's move into the neighborhood. When the lieutenant gets into a near-fatal bar fight with a Pakistani stockbroker, Acland's unlikely savior is a 250-pound lesbian weight lifter and doctor named Jackson. Surprisingly, Jackson is also one of the few convincing characters in this plot-propelled tale, a flaw readers may be willing to ignore-until they slam into a contrived denouement well below Walters's usual standard. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Wounded in Iraq, Charles Acland is evacuated to London to begin a painful recovery, made worse by disfigurement, paranoia, and a desire to avoid any assistance--especially from his family and former fiancee. Though he is physically tough, Charles's mental state is less stable; he scares himself and others with bouts of rage. Charles does his best to alienate his caregivers but is forced to accept help when his aggressiveness leads to a run-in with the police, who are trying to solve a series of brutal murders. His best hopes are a butch lesbian doctor, who thinks she is a good judge of character, and a not unsympathetic detective. Walters (The Devil's Feather) is an award-winning master of suspense, and she once again keeps things taut as Charles tries to figure out what is wrong with him and why forces seem to be driving him to more violence. Charles's suspicions spread to the reader, who soon wonders if anyone is as he or she seems in this solid thriller. Strongly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Suspense-filled . . . This multi-layered story by England's best-selling female crime writer blends current events, the politics of sexual relationships and the development of personal identity into a psychologically compelling novel." -USA Today "A Walters novel is like no other. She bases her books on facts gathered from real life [and] then embosses with her own painstaking research and fertile imagination . . . The revelations are astounding." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "A sizzling psychological thriller." -Publishers Weekly "Solid plotting, superb characterization, and fascinating information on traumatic brain injuries make this compelling thriller a sure winner . . . Walters' latest suspense tale mixes the creepiness of [an] old noir movie with a contemporary, ripped-from-the-headlines exploration of the aftereffects of traumatic brain injury on soldiers." -Booklist (starred) Praise from the UK & Canada: "What marks Minette Walters out from the rest is not just the complex yet utterly convincing psychological profiles she draws of her characters, but the fact that she really gets into the heads of some disturbing people . . . No wonder she is the country's bestselling female crime writer. But even this label does not do justice to the scope and breadth of her gripping, terrifying novels. The Chameleon's Shadow is another classic." -The Mirror "Minette Walters is one of crime fiction's finest creators of character. That ability is on full show in this novel of trust and fear . . . All the characters are beautifully built, and Acland is a brilliant creation . . . If you like a character-driven crime novel with great psychological depth, you'll love The Chameleon's Shadow." -Globe and Mail (Toronto) "An accomplished psychological thriller . . . The Chameleon's Shadow is as frightening and as compulsively readable as Walters's previous novels, with as ingenious a plot." -Times Literary Supplement "Minette Walters holds a unique place in crime fiction today. That's because she does so much more than produce tense crime thrillers . . . This is another page-turner and another novel which will deservedly take its place on the bestseller list." -Sunday Express "Minette Walters is an adventurous novelist . . . In The Chameleon's Shadow, [she] leads us to the answer with her usual disturbing ability to look into damaged minds." -The Times (London) "A disturbing and fascinating thriller . . . Walters's characters ring true whether she's dealing with a career-obsessed young army officer, a teenage thief or a dirty old man edging towards senility." -The Spectator From the Hardcover edition.

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